DC judge rejects Trump team’s delay attempt and schedules protective order hearing

Washington, DC Federal District Judge Tanya Chutkan has disregarded the latest attempt by the Trump legal team to delay a hearing regarding a protective order. The order is meant to prevent former President Donald Trump from sharing certain details that are set to be revealed in the discovery process. This comes after Mr. Trump’s lawyers seemed to ignore the judge’s orders in their latest filing in the case related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

US Department of Justice special counsel Jack Smith and the Trump defense team submitted their suggestions for a hearing date on the proposed “protective order” to restrict what the former president can share about the case. Judge Tanya Chutkan requested a hearing date between August 9 and 11. The special counsel’s team confirmed their availability on any of those days, while Mr. Trump’s team ignored the judge’s order and suggested August 14 or 15. Ultimately, the judge set a hearing date for 10 am ET on August 11.

The special counsel’s office filed a document on Monday night, stating that Mr. Trump was attempting to “litigate this case in the media.” They objected to the proposal to restrict public discussion of the discovery evidence in the case, stating that there is no right to publicly release discovery material, as the discovery process is intended to ensure a fair process before the court and not to allow the defendant to press his case in the media.

Mr. Trump’s attorneys, in a separate filing, requested permission from the judge to use large parts of the discovery materials while campaigning for the 2024 Republican nomination for president. They argued that the standard protective order would allow the judge to censor Mr. Trump and impose content-based restrictions on his political speech.

The prosecution highlighted Mr. Trump’s frequent public statements on social media regarding witnesses, judges, attorneys, and others involved in legal matters against him. They requested the judge to impose an order barring Mr. Trump from sharing discovery materials with anyone except those directly involved in the defense and authorized by the court.

The request for the protective order was filed by Mr. Smith after Mr. Trump’s post on Truth Social, stating, “If you go after me, I’m coming after you.” The special counsel argued that such posts may have an effect on witnesses. The Trump legal team requested a delay until next week for the hearing, claiming to be busy.

Judge Chutkan scheduled a hearing on August 11, 2023, at 10 am ET, for the consideration of the protective order proposals. The requirement of Mr. Trump’s appearance at the hearing was waived.

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